Elton John & Tim Rice's AIDA (2010)

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Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA

Directed by Scott Ferguson

Musical Direction by Robert Ollis
and James Morehead

Choreography by Gary Abbott and Kevin Iega Jeff of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
Performed July 1 – August 1, 2010
American Theater Company

AIDA tells the story of a high-ranking Egyptian soldier, engaged to the Pharaoh’s daughter and next in line for the throne, who falls in love with the Nubian slave Aida. When he discovers that she is the daughter of the King of Nubia, each is forced to choose between love for country and love for each other.  With a driving pop-rock score by Elton John, the story challenges audiences to consider the question: “What would you sacrifice for eternal love?”

In its first Chicago production since the national tour, Bailiwick Chicago’s newly envisioned production features stunning choreography by the modern dance company Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, a six-piece band, and a cast of 20 talented actors, singers, and dancers.

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[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”slategrey” cite=”Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune” citeLink=”http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2010/07/aida-bailiwick-chicago-american-theater-company-elton-john-time-rice.html”]★★★…This deeply rooted new ‘Aida’ would take Elton John by surprise…copious amounts of competence, creativity and truth…with a powerful and independent point of view.[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”copper” cite=”Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times” citeLink=”http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/weiss/2491378,CST-FTR-Weiss13web.article”]…the richly expressive Afro-infused choreography by Gary Abbott and Kevin Iega Jeff (of Chicago’s Deeply Rooted company) far outstrips that created for the show’s Broadway edition.[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”slategrey” cite=”John Beer, TimeOut Chicago” citeLink=”http://chicago.timeout.com/articles/theater/87239/aida-at-bailiwick-chicago-theater-review”]HIGHLY RECOMMENDED…[A] high-octane production with an earthy, powerful take on the title role.[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”copper” cite=”Albert Williams, Chicago Reader” citeLink=”http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/aida/Event?oid=2030551″]…Bailiwick Chicago has given it an intimate, unpretentious production…that boasts clever costumes, imaginative lighting, solid dancing, strong lead vocals, and truly impressive choral singing.[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”slategrey” cite=”Dennis Polkow, NewCity Chicago” citeLink=”http://newcitystage.com/2010/07/12/review-elton-john-and-tim-rice%E2%80%99s-aidabailiwick-chicago/”]…there is much to recommend the Bailiwick production, which does do a fine job of communicating the music, such as it is, and an even better job of revealing the drama of the work…[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”copper” cite=”Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times” citeLink=”http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=27443″]HIGHLY RECOMMENDED…soaring harmonies in a variety of contemporary styles, athletic Afrocentric dances, women wearing Ricky Lurie’s dazzling period-inspired frocks…the intimacy of the ATC space allowing for character-driven nuances absent in larger venues…[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”slategrey” cite=”Rosalind Cummings-Yeates, Centerstage Chicago” citeLink=”http://centerstagechicago.com/theatre/shows/9665.html”]HIGHLY RECOMMENDED…From the emotion-packed singing to the traditional African dance moves, this production of Aida rises above the superficial and connects with the audience.[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”copper” cite=”Alissa Norby, ShowBiz Chicago” citeLink=”http://showbizchicago.com/bailiwick-chicago-rediscovers-a-buried-aida/”]HIGHLY RECOMMENDED…Bailiwick Chicago rediscovers a buried AIDA…the company primarily works in the business of new discovery, digging up the dramatic tendons of a musical that has too long been buried.[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”slategrey” cite=”Tom Williams, ChicagoCritic” citeLink=”http://chicagocritic.com/aida/”]HIGHLY RECOMMENDED…This Aida is for more enjoyable than the last national tour and for a quarter of the price…AIDA is a major summer triumph not to be missed.[/pullquote2]
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”copper” cite=”Alan Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago” citeLink=”http://www.aroundthetownchicago.com/theatre-reviews/aida/”]HIGHLY RECOMMENDED……This production, a major undertaking for a company to pick as a first musical is mind boggling![/pullquote2]

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